Owner of Christina’s restaurant in Baton Rouge died Monday _lowres

Staff Photo by Arthur D. Lauck -- This is a 2006 Advocate file photo of Christina Bannister owner of Christina's Restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge.

Christina Bannister, who served downtown workers for about 20 years with home-style cooking at her restaurant Christina’s, died Monday. She was 60.

Bannister grew up in Baton Rouge and became a familiar face to many through the years of cooking up fried catfish, rice and gravy, and a variety of other breakfasts and lunches at her restaurant on St. Charles Street. She loved to cook for everyone, including her family, friends and customers, according to her brother, Mike Bannister.

“She considered all her customers family,” her brother said. “That’s what she put into her cooking … that love that you have when you cook for people you care about.”

Mike Bannister said his sister was engaged to Kyle Beck for many years, and her family members used to laugh about when the two would eventually marry.

“She kind of put everything on the back burner to take care of my mom,” he said. He noted that their mother Rosa taught her how to cook. “She always put everyone before herself.”

In the middle of busy lunch hours, Bannister said, his sister would often rush out to deliver food to her customers at the hospital.

Christina Bannister graduated from Istrouma High School and LSU, where she studied criminal justice. She worked in various departments at the Sheriff’s Office before pursuing her dream of opening her own restaurant.

Bannister had an aneurysm two weeks ago and never recovered, her brother said.

The Bannister family is in the process of making funeral arrangements, and her services will be open to the public.

Christina Bannister is survived by her brother, Mike; her mother, Rosa; two sisters, Dixie and Arminea; her fiancé, Kyle Beck; and a handful of aunts, uncles and nephews and a niece.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was modified on Jan. 27, 2015, to add the names of Bannister’s two surviving sisters. The Advocate regrets the error.